A Gut Feeling: investigating chemosensory signaling from the tongue and gut to the brain


JPL Assembly Room

Come to Pizza and Research hungry and engage in experiential learning using all of your senses! Have you ever thought about why sugar tastes sweet or why lemons are sour? What about after you swallow a bite of food? How do our bodies monitor the contents of a meal to keep nutritional balance and prevent toxicity or infection? In the Biology department at UTSA, the Macpherson Lab investigates chemosensation - the ability to detect chemicals in our environment and food. We will discuss the basics of how your sense of taste signals to your brain the nutritional content of foods, and then how your gastro-intestinal tract continues to "taste" gut contents to aid digestion and extract as many nutrients as possible from a meal. We will then discuss some of the next big questions about gut-brain communication and how we go about researching these topics in the laboratory.

Presenter: Lindsey Macpherson